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Biden Reverses Trump’s Transgender-Military Ban

Morgan Jeremy, Reporter

On Jan. 25, 2021, President Joe Biden reversed a Presidential Memorandum from the Trump administration, which barred transgender individuals from serving in the military. 

It is my conviction as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces that gender identity should not be a bar to military service,” said President Biden in the official White House Briefing, “Therefore, it shall be the policy of the United States to ensure that all transgender individuals who wish to serve in the United States military and can meet the appropriate standards shall be able to do so openly and free from discrimination.”

Biden’s decision was highly anticipated as he vowedday oneto begin reversing discriminatory policies put in place by the Trump administration. 

“This current administration has undermined that progress by eroding the treatment of LGBTQ Americans at home, signaling a tolerance for abuses by other countries, and failing to defend American diplomats who speak out for LGBTQ rights abroad,” said Biden in a Feb. 2020 interview with Dallas Voice. 

This ban’s reversal received overwhelming praise from the LGBT community, especially from those in the transgender community.

Manny Velasquez, director of UNF’s LGBTQ center, described how significant this policy change was for the trans community.

“We need to understand that the trans community has to deal with a lot more issues than many in the LGBT community,” said Velasquez. “The trans community is constantly encountering transphobia both from outside and within the LGBT community.”

According to Velasquez, by enforcing these discriminatory policies, the previous administration blatantly invalidated the identities of transgender individuals. 

“On top of the transphobia they already face, being told they can’t serve their country is detrimental to them,” said Velasquez. 

Therefore, the revocation of this order has the exact opposite effect on transgender individuals.

“It shows how vital they are to the community,” said Velasquez. 

The enactment of both policies has questioned the role gender plays in military service or if it plays a role at all.

Bob Buehn, director of UNF’s Military Veterans Resource Center and a veteran himself, described his outlook on gender and military service.

“As far as gender-identity in the military, there are no military ‘jobs’ or specialties that are inherently tied to a particular gender identity,” said Buehn.

“As has been proven in recent years, the ability to meet the standards and do the job is all that is required to be successful. In reality, gender-identity may play a role in the minds of individuals because the military is still evolving in how it views gender. But especially in this high tech world, there are no barriers to service.”

According to Buehn, while many things are necessary for serving in the military, gender-identity is not one of them. 

“The most important attributes to serving include integrity, sacrifice, and ability to work as a team,” said Buehn, “Hard work to learn a skill and competence in that skill opens doors for promotion and success.”

For more information about Biden’s executive orders, go to unfspinnaker.com.

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For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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